Heartburn and Acid Reflux

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Symptoms of Heartburn and Acid Reflux

Heartburn, indigestion and acid reflux affect people all over the world and are quite common issues for people to have. However, when any of these conditions are severe or persist, it is time to seek help from a medical professional. At Northern Nevada Health System, we are here to help you try and find a solution to digestive issues involving heartburn and acid reflux.

Acid Reflux, heartburn and other issues related to these two conditions can be signs of a bigger problem and should not be left untreated. Even heartburn, a common condition treated with anti-inflammatories, can become severe heartburn or chronic heartburn if you are not careful. Here are a few warning signs for each issue:

Heartburn Symptoms

Heartburn symptoms are relatively common, but if any of these symptoms are frequent or persist you should talk to your doctor:

  • A burning feeling in your chest
  • Chest pain when you lie down
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • A acidity or hot taste in your throat
  • A burning sensation in your throat

If you are experiencing chest pain, please see your doctor immediately.

Acid Reflux Symptoms

According to Mayo Clinic, acid reflux symptoms may include:

  • A burning sensation in your chest (heartburn), usually after eating, which might be worse at night
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Regurgitation of food or sour liquid
  • Sensation of a lump in your throat

If you have nighttime acid reflux, you might also experience:

  • Chronic cough
  • Laryngitis
  • New or worsening asthma
  • Disrupted sleep

If you are experiencing chest pain, please see your doctor immediately.

If you are experiencing any symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux, please reach out to one of the many medical professionals throughout Northern Nevada Health System. Our facilities and physicians are ready to help you get to the root of your issues and assist in making your digestive process more comfortable.

Causes of Heartburn and Acid Reflux

As part of the digestive process, your stomach and esophagus work in tandem to help your body digest the food you eat. At the bottom of your esophagus and leading to the stomach, there is a valve called the esophageal sphincter. This valve opens to let food into your stomach and then closes to keep it out.

Sometimes this valve does not close properly, causing some of the acidic mixture used to dissolve your stomach contents to push back up into the esophagus. This is what causes reflux and heartburn and what can damage your esophagus over time.

Some of the foods that can cause heartburn, indigestion and acid reflux include:

  • Citrus
  • Tomatoes
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Carbonated drinks

Risk factors may be higher for those who smoke, are overweight, struggle with high stress or anxiety or even wearing clothes that are too tight.

What is GERD?

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), also known as Acid Reflux Disease, occurs when stomach acids or intestinal bile leak back from the stomach into the esophagus (the tube that runs from the mouth to the stomach), a process called gastroesophageal reflux. Reflux can irritate the esophagus, cause heartburn and other symptoms and can damage the esophagus.

Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF)

A less invasive restoration of the anti-reflux barrier, TIF does not require internal incisions or dissection. This results in faster recovery times, and most patients are able to return home, return to work and return to most normal activities within a few days.

If you need a referral to a physician at Northern Nevada Health System, call our free physician referral service at 775-356-6662.